Worker Moves Forward in Construction
The EMBERS Staffing Solutions Employee of the Month program is made possible by our friends at Home Depot. They supply winners with $100 worth of tools and equipment to help them on their journey to becoming economically self-sufficient.
Meet Dave Cruzelle
Always ready to roll up his sleeves and get any job done, Dave understands that good, honest work is the best way to move forward in life – no matter what you face.
Raised in the small logging town of Terrace, BC, Dave worked in forestry jobs for over a decade. When work in his field dried up, he moved south with his children to work in construction.
After two decades of working in a variety of construction jobs, he injured his back and could no longer wear the tool belts required to perform his duties. That’s when he changed careers to do front desk work for a charity in the Downtown Eastside.
“It wasn’t much in the way of money, but the job was easier,” he said. “I was working with people, and I like working with people.”
Like many of the social services in the Downtown Eastside, this charity’s clients included drug users. As a front-line staff, Dave had a front-row seat to the dangerous effects of drugs. He often witnessed lives spiraling out of control and some that ended too early.
“I just want to keep ahead of my bills in the long term. I got behind before with bills and I didn’t like it. So I try to keep ahead of everything, as best as I can.”
“It’s not easy dealing with these people that have addiction problems. It just saddens me to see these people destroying their lives for the sake of the dope.” he said. After living a harrowing experience of seeing someone he knew overdose on drugs and pass away, Dave decided to move on.
Several months later, Dave signed up with EMBERS Staffing Solutions on the recommendation of people he met on the streets. “I checked around other temp agencies and none of them had what I was looking for, like training,” he said.
Experienced in construction, Dave looked forward to getting back to work and away from the drug scene. At EMBERS, Dave was able to not only pick up where he left off, but also do training to move forward in his career. He received tickets for hoist, aerial boom, forklift, and scissor lift, and is eyeing the telehandler ticket next.
Never shying from opportunities to upskill and work more hours, Dave’s goal is to be responsible and prepared for any financial emergency.
“I just want to keep ahead of my bills in the long term,” he says. “I got behind before with bills and I didn’t like it. So I try to keep ahead of everything, as best as I can.”
“Getting out of the Downtown Eastside is my dream. It’s my goal.”
Though Dave misses the office environment from time to time, he’s grateful for the opportunity to work at EMBERS.
“EMBERS gives me a chance to get back into construction and maybe I’ll have a chance sometime to get hired full-time by one of these companies operating machinery or doing skilled labour.”
Dave is currently living in a run-down Downtown Eastside hotel – one of the few places he can afford. One day he hopes to move into a safer, quieter space.
“Getting out of the Downtown Eastside is my dream. It’s my goal,” he says.
For now, Dave is taking things one day at a time. He cooks dinner for himself nightly, contacts his adult children every chance he gets, and spends the rest of his time looking for a new place to live or work opportunity.
“When I think negative, negative things are gonna happen to me. If I think positive, If I always think positive, there’s always something that comes along with it that makes my day. Negativity gets you nowhere. Try to keep a positive attitude, and nine times out of ten, something good will come your way.”